Oct. 23: Victoria Vikes 3, UFV Cascades 1 (Centennial Stadium – Victoria, B.C.)

The University of Victoria Vikes men’s soccer team came back from a first half deficit with three unanswered goals in the second half, winning 3-1 over the Fraser Valley Cascades. The Vikes improve to 6-3-3 and second place in the Canada West Pacific Division while Fraser Valley drops to third at 5-4-2.

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Second-year Vike Michael Baart scored the game-winning and insurance goals in the Vikes victory after veteran midfielder Cam Hundal tied the game in the second half. Vikes goalkeeper Noah Pawlowski made his three saves count in the win, only being beaten from the spot in the 27th minute by Cascades defender Colton O’Neill.

Fraser Valley goalkeeper Alex Skrzeta stopped five shots in the loss and was victim to three well-worked Vikes goals. O’Neill’s goal from the spot was not enough to stop the blow from a torrent Vikes’ second half comeback.

The Vikes held the majority of possession through the first 25 minutes, keeping the Cascades defensive line and goalkeeper Skrzeta on alert. There would be nothing to show for it for the Vikes until the tide turned minutes later in favour of the Cascades.

In the 27th minute, the Vikes conceded a handball in their own box much to the complaint of the Vikes. The ball deflected up and off the hand of Vikes defender Keevan Webb inadvertently, giving Fraser Valley the go-ahead opportunity. Fifth-year Cascade O’Neill made no mistake by driving it off the post and past Pawlowski for the 1-0 lead.

O’Neill’s goal would be the only real action of the half in a half that was controlled mostly by the Vikes, who directed seven corners towards the Cascades’ box.

In the second half, the Vikes needed only five minutes to reverse their fortunes. After a nice three-way passing play in the middle of the field, Hundal found the ball on the left side of the box facing a 1-on-1 with a Cascades defender. Hundal took the shot on his left and put it far post for his sixth goal of the season to even the score 1-1.

Five minutes later in the 55th minute, the Vikes took full advantage on a corner that was nodded in by defender Baart – his first of the season in his second start.
The Vikes extended their lead through Baart again in the 60th minute, this time on the break after Hundal slipped through a ball to the middle of the box. The Vikes held a two-goal advantage with half an hour to play.

The Vikes’ second half flurry did the damage as the Vikes came back from a one-goal deficit to win 3-1.

The Vikes victory makes things even more tight in the race to secure hosting rights in the Canada West Quarter-Finals. The Vikes jump to second place with Trinity Western’s 4-0 loss to the UBC Thunderbirds, leaving everything to play for tomorrow night as the Vikes host the Spartans in the final match of the regular season. The top two teams in the division secure the right to host, and the Vikes currently hold their fate in their own hands.

Secure tickets to tomorrow’s season finale at govikesgo.com/tickets or stream the game live on canadawest.tv.

Game Summary:
            1          2          F
UVIC:  0          2          3
UFV:    1          0          1

Scoring Summary:
UVIC: Cam Hundal (50′), Michael Baart (55′, 60′)
UFV: Colton O’Neill (27′)

Cautions:
UVIC: /
UFV: Daniel Davidson (Yellow card)

MVPs:
UVIC:
Michael Baart
UFV: Colton O’Neill

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